Cover Image: The Edge of Everywhen

The Edge of Everywhen

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

As a proud book nerd and mother to a child with autism, I was so here for a story about a book nerd and her brother, who has autism.  Piper and Phoenix's worlds are turned upside down after the accidental death of their mother.  They are sent across the country to live with an unfamiliar aunt.  The aunt is very different from the two loving parents Piper and Phoenix grew up with.  This distant aunt, with her restrictive rules, is barely approachable, so the children are lucky the housekeeper and butler seem more caring.  

When Phoenix discovers, and then reads a book in the Verboten library, things start to change. And as each member of the household reads this amazing book, big things happen. I could not put this book down. I finished it in one sitting.  I loved the book narrator, and how she (I imagine the book as female) broke down the fourth wall and gave the reader insights that the characters didn't have.  I loved the quotes at the beginning of each chapter.  I even loved the map of the house so I could picture the events happening just so.

There were so very many things that just "hit" for me.  There was just one miss for me. I felt like the author might have been trying to compare Phoenix to a character from another book who was "cured of his affliction" by his faith and the belief of others in him.  While Phoenix will grow and change, it seems too fantastical to believe that he will overcome his autism because of his interaction with the Novus Fabula.

I adore this book and cannot wait to get it in the hands of my students and kids.
Was this review helpful?
I loved the idea of this book, the plot was okay, but the execution fell short for me. This book was meant for a middle grade audience and the wording sometimes had me going back and rereading two or three times to understand what the author was trying to say. I would be willing to try something else from this author but this one was a just okay.
Was this review helpful?
This book is about the siblings Phoenix and Piper, Phoenix as autism. There father went missing 3 years ago and there mom died in a car crash in the beginning of the book. Because of that the have to go live with their aunt for away.

I absolutely love the idee of this book but I sadly did not like it. The first thing I didn't like is personal and that is the narration and writing style. The book jumped very fast and was confusing to get into. Also the book is narroted by a book and that is an narration style I sadly don't enjoy. 

But the biggest problem I had with this book was the autism representation. So Phoenis has autism, he doesn't speak, doesn't look people in the eyes. He has a big bond with piper and writes her messages in a code. But when at his aunts house he reads a book that all starts to fade. He does things he never done before or done for a long while. It literally indicates that because of the book Phoenix begins to heal of autism. Later it is also said that Phoenix has autism because he is afraid. This is such a big problem, especially in children books. If kids read this book, the can come to see autism as a joke or something that can be fiksed or that it is bad.
Was this review helpful?
This is a tale of 2 children Phoenix and Piper who's father has disappeared overseas 2 years earlier and their mother is killed in a car accident. They are then sent to their Aunts house to live. 

The narrator in this book is a book which i thought very strange at first but think the target audience will enjoy a book speaking to them. The stuffy Aunt who doesn't want the children is a bit cliche. I enjoyed the characters of the butler and housekeeper they were very well done. 

The representation in the book is for Autism (Phoenix is Autistic) and Christianity (references to god and prayer) The Christianity aspect may put some people off but it doesn't make an agnostic like myself feel uncomfortable as some texts can. 

I enjoyed this book on the whole, I like that there are house floor-plans and as the narrator is a book there are lots of book recommendations given throughout and i particularly like the part where the author's note has a list of all book mentioned and says to ask a librarian of other recommendations, i thought this was a nice touch.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this book. The review however the stars are my honest and unbiased opinion.
Was this review helpful?
This is an imaginative, delightful, enchanting read I could not put down. I enjoyed all the book quotes that kicked off each chapter. Like this one, “I’ve left a bit of myself in every bookstore and library I’ve had the pleasure of occupying – Elisabeth Joyce Gott.”

I loved Piper’s passion for the written word and the creativity of her brother Phoenix, who developed a secret language for them to communicate. Phoenix had stopped speaking when he was about 5 years old. No one knows why. He also was autistic. Piper was very protective of her brother. “The mystery of autism had caused Phoenix to go silent years ago...”

The children have lost their mother in a horrible accident and their father had gone missing overseas business adventure. They were headed to their Aunt Beryl whom they met once, when Piper was three years old. Now her and her brother were sent to live with her forever. The author pulls readers into this magical story through Piper and her brother Phoenix as they uncover some pretty amazing things. A talking book for one. I liked how the author broke through the third wall and talked directly to the reader pulling them into the magic of its pages as well. 

Mr. Green helps Piper with all her books. That’s when Phoenix makes a wonderful discovery that changes everything. Phoenix tells Piper to read a book that he’s found. She was surprised but starts to read and has an experience she’ll never forget.

Piper tells Mr. Greene, “…The magic lives within its pages, and the words will still be able to reach inside and change the reader. I imagine that very few people would be immune to it.”

This book is just plain fun. I recommend it for everyone who loves books!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
The Book Club Network blog www.bookfun.org
Was this review helpful?
This was a terrific read with incredibly engaging and memorable characters.  The story was well written and made you want to finish the book in one sitting.  These characters need more adventures in upcoming books please!
Was this review helpful?
A really unique and interesting story that made me want to keep reading to know the characters more.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a free e-arc of this title.

Wow. WOW. This book is incredible. It is a story that I feel children and adults need to read. It is powerful. 

Siblings Piper and Phoenix have endured more than any children should have to go through. Their father has disappeared, and their mother was suddenly killed in an accident. Sent to live with their mysterious Aunt Beryl, this story is about love, hope, and redemption. 

I loved watching Piper and Phoenix find themselves. I think the way that the author portrayed Phoenix (who is autistic) is wonderful - he is highly intelligent, capable, and kind. Piper is an incredible big sister, who has had to grow up far before her time. Her fierce love for her brother drives nearly everything she does. Sofia, Mr. Greene, and Aunt Beryl are wonderful characters. The subplot following their father is heartbreaking and beautiful. I honestly cried at the end. 

To quote Mr. Green: "Some things in this world are just pure magic."
Was this review helpful?
I started tearing up when I finished this. They are so precious. I recommend this book for everyone!
Was this review helpful?
“The day had simply been full of Too Much Muchness.” 
— A. S. Mackey, The Edge of Everywhen 

This book is so precious! 

The Edge of Everywhen is told from the perspective of a MAGICAL BOOK! It follows the woes of a sister and brother. Piper is a 13 year old booknerd, and her autistic little brother Phoenix are both struggling in the aftermath of their mom’s death and their dad being declared M.I.A. 

This is a middle grade story about faith, God and the importance of seeing the good and magic in the world. 

I am not ashamed to admit that I cried once or twice! I was a mess. Although, my only complaint with this book is the constant repetition of the narrator addressing us as ‘Dear Reader’— it was really getting my goat! But otherwise, I highly recommend this! 

And I loved the fact that it wasn’t just the children we were following, but the dad too. It made everything so much more special to see their struggles side by side and how they coped throughout their own difficulties. 

Also, I LOVE when books make references to classics and pretty much fan girl all over them, and this is exactly what this book did. Some of the books mentioned in this include: Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, The Wind in the Willows and so much more! 

Highly recommend. 

Read. Be happy. Stay safe.
Was this review helpful?
I'm writing this as I'm tearing up because this book moved me in a way I didn't knew I could be moved (not anymore anyway).
Even if I didn't go to the same experiences as Piper, I felt so much like her as a teen. I wish I had read it in that age, it would be my own Novus Fabula.
I love how this story is told, how we can hear the book speaking. I also love how it was a calm, deep tale, instead of an action packed story (I like those too, but it felt better this way).
To all the book lovers out there, this one maybe is not for you, but I swear it's about you.
Was this review helpful?
DNF @ 35%

I loved the idea of this book, but I didn’t love the execution. The story was supposed to be told from the point of view of a book, which is cool … and it sometimes was. But it jumped and meandered too much. It started at the kids getting to the house, and then it backtracked to what happened to lead them there, then it jumped to another character, then back to the kids at the house. The flow was just wonky.

The narrator also dropped these mentions to other super popular books and was like, “You’ve read this, of course, right, dear reader?” I thought it was cute at first as a way to draw a young reader’s attention to other books they might like, but then it started feeling a bit pretentious, and what if the readers haven’t, in fact, read those? Or have no interest in reading them?

Where I stopped, I felt like literally nothing had happened. The kids had just found this book, and that was it. The rest of the book thus far had been filled with quotidian moving into a new house and learning the rules, but nothing that grabbed my attention.

The final nail in the coffin was when Phoenix, a little boy with autism, suddenly started exhibiting behaviors he hadn’t in a long time after finding this book, very heavily implying that the book was “fixing” him. Whether this narrative continues in the rest of the book, I can’t say because that was enough for me to decide not to finish when added to the fact that I was just plain bored with it. That definitely felt squicky to me.
Was this review helpful?
While a book with orphaned children, an aloof guardian, and a magnificent library (off-limits to children), may seem predictable, The Edge Of Everywhen is anything but.  A.S. Mackey adds plenty of creativity by reimagining a formulaic story into something completely original. I appreciated the Christian truths woven gently into the story. 

Phoenix has not spoken for as long as Piper can remember but he has a special way of writing coded messages for his sister (there are clues to the key, but nothing expressly explained--may be fun for puzzlers to figure out).  Their Aunt Beryl has some mystery, and sadness surrounding her that unfortunately, keeps her on the periphery of the children's lives. But the butler and cook make up for the warmth their guardian may lack. The book has some mystery and even a bit of magic (just a very sweet, innocent type of magic).  

Readers will also be fascinated by a parallel story and how that may eventually impact the main character's lives. After losing her parents, Piper takes solace in her love of reading and one of my favorite parts of the book included the narrator's asides about various children's book titles. If you read this together as a family, I highly recommend going back and reading  the books mentioned. I felt that there were things not completely explained so I really hope that additional books in the will be forthcoming! 

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of The Edge of Everywhen from NetGalley for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.
Was this review helpful?
First of all,I picked up this book because it gave me strong Narnia vibes.🤩

This story follows two children who are sent off to live with their aunt and discover something there that will change their lives.We go along with them on their amazing and magical ride and how they tackle their adventure.
Though this had some plotholes it wasn't a totally bad story.
3.9/5 stars!

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for sending me an e-ARC of this book 👍
Was this review helpful?
I wanted to like this book as the premise sounded really interesting.  But it just didn't feel like it was going anywhere.  The characters were insteresting and I liked the diversity of the brother.  Unfortunately, the story stalled out and I didn't finish it.
Was this review helpful?
*a full review will be uploaded on my blog soon. I’ll add the link when I upload it*

I decided to pick this book up immediately when I saw it was about a sister and her autistic brother. It sounded magical and intriguing, but that was definitely the main reason.

I know autism is a very complex thing, but since I’m the sister of an autistic brother, I was just so enthusiastic about a story that represented that.

Let’s start off with that: there were a few lines that really got me, where I thought: wow, that hit close to home. So I’d say that part of the book is definitely one of the strongest parts. The autism of Phoenix himself was very different from my brothers though, so I can’t completely judge it, but I still saw aspects of my brother in him.

I definitely wanna thank the author for that.

The thing with this book for me, though, definitely was that it started of great! I was hooked and I just wanted to find out more! But then I was about halfway and all I could think was: okay, I enjoy reading this because the writing style is good, but there’s nothing happening.

I don’t know. It just felt like this book didn’t have enough plot to be a book. 

The only thing I can’t say anything about is the Christian aspect of this book. I’m not Christian but that doesn’t mean it changes the book for me in any way. It was interesting to see the author’s perspective on things, but it was not at all my favourite part of the book.

Overall I think this was a disappointment. Even though I related to some things,I just didn’t get what I expected (in a rather bad way).

*I will go in deeper on things like characters, writings style and other things in my full review.*

Love,
Alissa
Was this review helpful?
This is a magical, contemporary novel following Piper and her brother Phoenix who has autism. I would recommend it to readers of middle-grade novels but I could definitely see parents reading it to their younger children. I enjoyed it as an adult too.

I requested this book from Netgalley.com and the publishers were kind enough to let me have a copy.

At the beginning of the story the children’s father has disappeared and when they also lose their mother, they are sent to stay with their Aunt in her house. This house has a large library and in it there is one magical book. 

One unusual thing about this story is that it is told from the perspective of the book. This made the style of writing both whimsical and endearing. 

I enjoyed meeting all the characters and in particular seeing how Phoenix’s autism affected him and his sister.  

I loved the magical nature of the story. It felt like both a modern contemporary novel and a fairytale.

Each chapter begins with a quote, some of which are Bible verses. I loved that there were many spiritual threads and metaphors running throughout the story. 

I would recommend this book, particularly to any younger Christian readers.
Was this review helpful?
“Everyone’s story matters.”

A cross between The Chronicles of Narnia and The Shack.

Have you ever read a book you felt was written just for you? Well that’s exactly how everyone feels who reads Novus Fabula. When 13-year-old Piper and her autistic younger brother, Phoenix are sent to live with their Aunt Beryl after a tragic accident, it is this book that calls to them and heals them. 

This story was delightful. I would give it a standing ovation if anyone were around to see. The writing was exquisite and surprising from a first-time author. I would have expected A.S. Mackey to have a dozen classic children’s books under her belt. I was immediately drawn in by the concept of a story being told from the point of view of the book itself. This brought the story to life and gave me the sense that I had made a new friend. I was a little nervous when I found out this was a Christian fantasy that the story would be preachy or too full of “god talk” for a secular reader to enjoy. While there were a few spiritual moments, they did not make me uncomfortable, nor did they feel strictly Christian. I believe fantasy lovers of all religious affiliations can enjoy this book. 

I also loved the portrayal of an autistic character. He wasn’t made to seem incapable, one-dimensional, or a burden. In fact, his character was probably the most important for moving the story forward.

The writing style can be enjoyed by those of all ages. This would be a fantastic family read-aloud. The characters are diverse, layered, and each brings something important to the story. The story itself is of hope and relationships and will leave you in tears at the end.
Was this review helpful?
I DNF'ed at 44%.
Let me explain. The book was not bad at all, there were many things that I enjoyed. I really liked seeing all the bookish references to Narnia, Harry Potter, LOTR, The Hobbit, and a variety of other books. I also liked seeing autism in Christian middle-grade fiction that is not portrayed as a 'problem' needing to be 'solved'.
However, what I found lacking was a plot. Maybe it is just not the right time for me to read this book but I was not seeing the point of it. Whenever I put this down, it was harder and harder to find the want to pick it up again. It just didn't immerse me in the story.
Another little thing that bugged me was the repeated use of the phrase, "(s)he let out the breath (s)he didn't know (s)he'd been holding". Take note that I read from an ARC and that it could be different in the final copy but it was disappointing to see this very common 'easy-button' phrase used so often.

Rating: 3/5
Language: n/a, I didn't finish but I am fairly confident that it will not have any
Romance: none up to 44%
Spiritual: the Novus Fabula is very much an allegory for Christ
Violence: the children's father was tortured, mother died

*I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. All thoughts are my own and a positive review was not required.
Was this review helpful?
This is not your typical book, The story is told from the perspective of a book known as Novus Fabula. I thought this was definitely a unique way to tell a story. I appreciated that the author explored the idea of autism with the character of Phoenix. I think it's great to encourage readers to grow in their understanding of disorders, and how they can help others feel more included. One thing I didn't like about this book is that God is referred to as "the Big Man." This only happened once, but I find that this whole idea of "the Big Man upstairs" is disrespectful.  Other than that, I really enjoyed reading this book. The story shouted the idea that everyone has a story and "everyone's story matters." It encourages kids to look beyond the exterior and see what may be troubling another person's heart. Overall, a great read for kids that adds a little magic.

***I received this complimentary book from B&H Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?